Posted in Poetry, Prose

Dragons in the Dark

dragon10

My dragons burrow deep and sleep the sleep of the evil.  They lie in wait.  They make sure I have my defenses down; that I am once again comfortable in my own skin.

My peripheral vision sees the shadow of these beasts occasionally as they melt into the background.  I try as I might to catch them before they are loose, but they are too clever.

These dragons will creep into my room and sit at the foot of my bed, watching as I slumber.  I have fooled them only once; feigning sleep as their foul breath assaults my senses.  The stench of their evil is almost overwhelming.

I have awakened on many moonless nights, sure I would see them.  My heart is in my throat as I sweep the room.  I must be sure to catch them if they linger.  All that lingers is the cold sweat that penetrates my gown and their stench.  Sleep will elude me this night, for the dragons have already started their assault.

With the dawn, I greet the day with trepidation.  How will the dragons manifest this time?  Will I find myself once again in the dark?  Will I be alone with my dragons, with nothing more than hope to see my way back into the light?

As I lock the front door and walk down the street, I can feel the dragons’ breath on my neck….

Amazing image found on Google Images.  Credit to the wonderful artist that created it.  

Copyright (C) 2014 Penny Wilson All Rights Reserved

*This piece was written about my struggle over the years with Depression. I’m in a good place these days, thank God.  But my mind has been on the ongoing struggle that many have with Mental Illness.  The Struggle IS Real.  For Help and articles that I’ve compiled and written on the subject, please visit my Mental Health Help Page HERE.

Please also see my recent post, asking for your help with much needed resources, HERE. Thank you for joining me on this journey.

Posted in Life, mental illness

Help Needed – Therapy Information, Please

I Need Your Help.

I recently had a conversation with a friend who is in need of therapy, as her benefits will soon be expiring.  Where can she turn?  

I’ve been in this situation.  Through my previous employer, I had 3 sessions with a therapist available to me covered by insurance.  3 sessions, didn’t even begin to scratch the surface.  After that, I was on my own to figure out how to pay for it.  

So I started digging into Affordable mental health therapy.  After a few Click Bait websites, I basically found nothing.  I did find one site that would offer me online sessions based on my income.  But even that was too expensive.  

I have a Mental Health Help Page where I have listed contacts for those in crisis, and other resources and articles for those struggling.  BUT… I have NO information for options of Free or Affordable Therapy.  

So I am asking for your help with this.  If you have information on this Much Needed Subject, would you please do what you can to get that information to me?  I’m in the US, but I need info for those not living in the US as well.  Anything information that you can come up with would be appreciated.  

Please, either leave the information in the comments below, use my Contact Page, or simply email me at psnw123@gmail.com

Thank you!!

Posted in depression, mental illness

New Suicide Prevention Hotline – 988 – Is Finally a Reality!

Finally, in the US, we have a 3 digit number for the Suicide Prevention Hotline.  It’s 988.  This has been slow coming.  Why, I don’t know.  But thank God that it’s finally here!  

If you or someone you know is thinking of suicide, you can now use the 3 digit number to reach a professional that will assist you in getting the help you need.  The old # 1 (800)-273-8255, is still available.  But the new number will be so much easier to remember!  

In the UK, if you’re struggling with negative thoughts or suicidal feelings, you can call the Samaritans at 116 123; and in Australia, call Lifeline at 13 11 14. 

THIS is a wonderful article about several crisis hotlines and texting that is available to a number of different people.  

If you would like more information on Suicide Prevention or Depression, please be sure to visit my Mental Health Help Page HERE.  

Thank you for joining me on this journey.  Penny ❤ Copyright (C) 2022

Posted in depression, Life, mental illness

Depression’s Frequent Companion

A diagnosis of Depression is enough to handle, but in many cases depression can be accompanied by the unwelcome companion, Anxiety.

Anxiety can be just as debilitating as depression. 

Most people think of depression on the lower end of things.  Things like the feeling of sadness, hopelessness, finding no joy in things that you once took pleasure in, not wanting to get out of bed, etc.   

On the higher end of depression is anxiety.  The symptoms of anxiety can include: excessive worry, restlessness, problems focusing, feelings of fear, and dread or avoiding everyday activities. 

Anxiety can also show itself in physical symptoms, such as: frequent sleep problems, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, and shortness of breath.  

If anxiety is left unchecked, it can interfere with job performance, schoolwork and relationships.  Anxiety can also lead to Panic Attacks and Phobias if untreated.  

If you recognize yourself in the symptoms I’ve listed above, I strongly urge you to seek help. 

HERE is an article I found on ways to reduce your anxiety. 

HERE you will find my Mental Health Help Page that will list several helpful links to seek help. 

*An added note: What I write here is based on personal experience and research that I have done on my own. I make no claim to be an expert on this subject or have any type of medical degree. My writing is simply a way for me to put a voice to my own experiences and perhaps help others along the way.  

Copyright 2021 Penny Wilson

 

Posted in depression, Life, mental illness

Isolation and Depression-For the Most At Risk

The onslaught of COVID 19 did more to our society than infect and kill.  On the peripheral of this is another epidemic, one of Isolation and Depression. 

Humans are social creatures.  We need each other to survive.  Because of COVID some of us are now judging our social interactions by what’s deemed ‘safe’ and what is not.  This especially true of those with compromised immune systems or other high risk factors 

The elderly are especially vulnerable to this isolation. Because many are self-isolating to stay safe, the instances of social anxiety are increasing.  Some now see social situations as a threat.  

There are many hazards of living an isolated life, especially for an extended period of time.  Anxiety, depression, PTSD are a few things that can result.  It can also effect sleep patterns and physical well-being.    

Continue reading “Isolation and Depression-For the Most At Risk”

Posted in depression

REBLOG: Learning Mental Health First Aid

This is a ReBlog from Minnesota Prairie Roots’ blog.  Please Read on and discover the valuable information Audrey is sharing here on Mental Health Awareness and First Aid! 

Minnesota Prairie Roots

Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

THE STRUGGLE IS REAL. Several years ago I saw that message printed on the back of a young woman’s shirt at a community celebration. I approached her and asked about the meaning behind those words. She explained that she lives with depression and that her family has loved and supported her through her struggles. I thanked her. Encouraged her. Then walked away feeling grateful for the young woman’s openness and for her caring and loving family.

That we should all be so honest. And compassionate. But the stigma surrounding mental illness, although lessening, continues. The failure to understand and support continues. And that’s where education and training are vital—to recognize, to de-stigmatize, to make a difference in how we perceive and approach mental health.

An upcoming opportunity in my area, Mental Health First Aid, helps those enrolled in the course to identify, understand and…

View original post 800 more words

Posted in depression, Life, mental illness

World Suicide Prevention Day

The Suicide Prevention Hotline, available 24/7 is 1-800-273-8255 

September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day.  I have long been an advocate for Mental Health Awareness and Suicide Prevention. I was online doing some research in preparation for this post and I came across some horrifying statistics.   

Why do I support Mental Health Awareness and Suicide Prevention?  See the statistics below and you’ll see why I feel that this is SO important.  Most of the information in the paragraph below came from the website SAVE.ORG.  This site is a wealth of information for those dealing with mental health issues and its aftermath.  Please take a few minutes to browse the site.

Every day, approximately 130 Americans die by suicide. (CDC)

There is one death every 11 minutes in the U.S. by suicide. (CDC)

Suicide takes the lives of over 48,500 Americans every year. (CDC) 

Nearly 800,000 people die by suicide in the world each year, which is roughly one death every 40 seconds.   

These are just a few of the facts surrounding suicide rates.  There are many more, each, seemingly more horrific than the last.  These are the reasons I support awareness efforts.  

I’ve seen first hand what Depression and Mental illness can do to your loved ones and just how dangerous it can be if left unchecked.  Please take a look at my Mental Health Help Page HERE. There is a LOT of information there for you, your loved ones, or anyone that is simply interested in becoming more aware.  I’ve created lots of links that will take you directly to helpful websites and phone numbers that can be helpful as well.  There are also many articles that I’ve added to that page for you to browse through. 

Depression is the leading cause of suicide worldwide.  

Look at this list of names. I’m sure you’ll recognize several of them:  Kurt Cobain-Musician, Ernest Hemingway-Writer, Margaux Hemingway-Ernest’s granddaughter, Margot Kidder-Actress (played Lois Lane in the 1978 Superman movie), Edward Platt-Actor, Freddie Prinz-Actor, George Reeves-Actor (played Superman in the 1950’s), Kerry Vo Erich-Writer, Robin Williams-Actor, Mark Salling-Actor (played on the TV show Glee), Virginia Woolf-Writer, Sylvia Plath-Writer, Vincent Van Gogh-Artist. What do these names all have in common?  We lost each of these people to suicide.

I could have listed thousands and thousands of “famous” people, but I don’t have the time or the room for such an exhaustive list! I think I’ve made my point. 

If you have any information that you feel would be of benefit to be added to my Mental Health Help Page, or if you just need someone’s ear to bend, please, reach out to me using my Contact Page HERE.  

Please, let’s do what we can to END the stigma of Mental Illness and open our hearts to those that need the support of each of us.  We’re all in this together.  No one gets out alive.  

Thank you for joining me on this journey.  Penny ❤ 

Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay 

 

Posted in depression, Life, mental illness

National Suicide Prevention Week-Sept. 5-11

I am thrilled when I find such a wonderful resource as the website of The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  If you may be struggling with suicidal thoughts or if you know someone that may need help.  HERE is where you can find this site.  

This website offers ideas on Self Care, Actions you can take to Prevent Suicide, and Having that conversation with someone.  There is also information on what to do if your family Won’t talk about suicide and there are support groups that you can join if you are dealing with the aftermath of someone that has committed suicide. 

Below are excerpts taken directly from AFSP’s website.  

Did you know that @afspnational is the largest private funder of suicide prevention research? Much of what is known about suicide comes from studies that we fund. Learn more about #Science2StopSuicide at https://afsp.org/research. 

Contrary to popular belief, asking someone directly if they’re thinking about suicide won’t “put the idea in their head.” In fact, people are often relieved to have a #RealConvo about mental health. #Science2StopSuicide

No one takes their life for a single reason. It’s important to know that generally, when someone dies by suicide, it can be attributed to a combination of various risk factors. Learn about the risk factors and warning signs at https://afsp.org/signs. #Science2StopSuicide

You are not alone. If you’re struggling, reach out to @800273TALK, text TALK to 741741 at the @crisistextline, or get involved with your local AFSP chapter.

Not sure how to start a #RealConvo about mental health? Check out @afspnational’s #RealConvo Guides at https://afsp.org/realconvo!

If someone you care about doesn’t seem like themselves lately, check in and let them know you’ll be there to support them every step of the way. Want more guidance on how to have an open, honest conversation about the tough stuff? Check out https://afsp.org/realconvo! #RealConvo

There IS help out there if you need it.  If you are looking for more resources, please visit my Mental Health Help Page HERE.  

Thank you for joining me on this journey.  Penny ❤ 

Posted in depression

Depression-You’re Not Alone

Depression can make you feel very alone. While we know there are other people out there that suffer from depression, that doesn’t make it any easier. We isolate ourselves, deny that there is anything wrong, and generally cannot see a way out of it. Too often, individuals that suffer from depression do not seek the help they need. While the reasons vary, one of the main reasons for not seeking help is the Stigma associated with Depression.

People feel guilty. They’ve been told to “snap out of it”, or “get over it”, or any number of other things that dismiss what they are going thru. Those people have no idea how dangerous and debilitating depression can be.

If you suffer from depression, please know that you are Not Alone. In fact, you are in good company. After doing a little research, I found an abundance of names that most of us will recognize that suffer from depression. Here’s a partial list:

Demi Lovato, Jim Carrey, Angelina Jolie, Chrissy Teigan, Kristen Bell, Ellen DeGeneres, Prince Harry, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Lady Gaga, Jon Hamm, Bruce Springsteen, Wayne Brady, Serena Williams, Gina Rodriguez and Katy Perry.

I’m sure you will recognize at least a few names on this list. These are people that admit publicly that they do suffer from Depression. While these “beautiful people” may seem like they have the perfect life, the reality is that they are just like us. They have the same struggles and insecurities that we do.

My first advice, always, if you think you might need help getting through your depression, is to reach out to someone. Anyone. Let someone know how you feel. There is help. You don’t have to do this alone. You’re NOT alone in your struggle.

THIS is a page with a lot of different resources, different ways that you can find help. You may find something on this page that is helpful.

Copyright (C) 2020 Penny Wilson

*With the upcoming Suicide Prevention Day, I feel it is important to repeat some of my older posts on Mental Health Awareness.  Thank you for joining me on this journey. Penny ❤

Posted in depression

Depression and Denial

It’s like it’s a scar that must be hidden. Like some dirty secret.  An ugly sweater you keep in the back of the closet and only bring it out when that aunt comes to visit.  You hide it.  You deny it, even to yourself.

There are the days when you tell yourself “I’m ok”, as you look in the mirror.  You do what you have to do to to get through the next moment, the next hour, the next day.

But you’re not ok and you know it.  Your sleeping too much.  You’re avoiding any social interaction, isolating yourself.  Things that normally bring you joy, no longer do.  There is this dark cloud over everything in your life.

Why do people that are depressed deny it?  The answer is complicated.  Often, the person going through the depression is embarrassed.  They want to appear “normal”.  They don’t want people to think there is something wrong with them.  There is such a stigma attached to depression and other forms of mental illness that the person hides it from those around them and even from themselves.

Sometimes, they don’t know that they’re depressed.  They know something’s not right, but they don’t recognize it.  Depression is a sneaky thief.  It sneaks in under the radar and robs you of the joy in your life.

What can you do if you see that a loved one is depressed but they deny it?  Be there for them.  Listen, talk, check-in with them.  Take that extra minute, make that phone call, or send that text.  Get them out of their isolation.  Take them to lunch, pop in for a quick visit.

Since a depressed person will often isolate themselves, it is incredibly important to BE THERE, not just physically, but emotionally.  Be supportive, encouraging and most of all, be caring.  They won’t want your attention, at least not outwardly.  They will push you away and try to discourage you, telling you that they are fine that nothing is wrong.

Encourage that loved one to seek help.  If you are sure that they need help, don’t give up.  Don’t turn your back on them.  BE THERE for them.  You might just save a life.

The Suicide Prevention Hotline, available 24/7 is 1-800-273-8255

A terrific website on this can be found HERE.

There is a site specifically to help our veterans.  Find that site HERE.

Is talking to someone too much for you?  It was for me at times.  There is a Crisis Text Line.  Text 741741 and you can text with a counselor.

Want to do an online chat?  There’s a site for that too.  Find it HERE.

You can even TWEET with a crisis counselor at @800273TALK on Twitter.

HERE is a link to many international phone #’s for Suicide Prevention.

This is a British number to help Children in crisis.  08001111

Copyright (C) 2019 Penny Wilson

I know this is a repeat. But some things are important to repeat.  This subject is one of those. Thank you for joining me on this journey. ❤ Penny